Officials behind the High Times Cannabis Cup have told Pueblo County they are no longer interested in obtaining a special event permit for the popular pot festival, scheduled for April.
In a statement released during the weekend, a representative for High Times didn’t specify why the magazine chose to end its quest to locate the vast outdoor marijuana fair — the biggest of its kind in the world — in southern Colorado.
The magazine said it respected “the need for all parties involved to have confidence in all operational aspects of the event” and that it looked forward to “hosting a future High Times event in Colorado.”
Reached at High Times’ New York office on Monday, chief operating officer Larry Linietsky said the decision came down to a matter of timing. The event in Pueblo was to have been April 16-18.
“Given where we are timewise, we don’t feel confident we can pull together the event with the quality we need,” Linietsky said.
The U.S. Cannabis Cup was held at the Denver Mart in Adams County in 2014 and 2015 on the same weekend as the massive 4/20 pro-marijuana celebration in downtown Denver, but county commissioners on Feb. 16 denied the event a permit at that venue for 2016, citing safety concerns and excessive public consumption of weed.
High Times immediately pursued a new location to hold the event on private property in Pueblo County. It was to have been held at The Yard, an entertainment venue owned by Tom and Anna-Marie Giodone.
The Yard is best known as the venue for Bands in the Backyard, a music festival that will host Kid Rock, Alabama, Three Doors Down and others July 17-18.
Linietsky said High Times hasn’t eliminated Colorado as a future host of a U.S. Cannabis Cup despite two locations in the state falling through this year.
“I’m hopeful we can do the U.S. Cannabis Cup in Colorado, for sure,” he said.
John Aguilar: 303-954-1695 or @abuvthefold